Difference Between Concrete and Abstract Thinking

There are two types of thought processes that the ideas can be categorized in, Abstract thinking and Concrete thinking. 

Concrete Thinking vs Abstract Thinking

The main difference between Concrete Thinking and Abstract Thinking is that Abstract Thinking refers to the process of thinking deeply about some abstract idea. On the other hand, concrete thinking is the process of thinking on the surface level. This involves thinking about physical things that can be felt, done, or processed by someone.

Concrete Thinking vs Abstract Thinking

This type of thinking is a part of our survival instinct, which involves thinking about our livelihood, including factors such as the source of food and shelter, and the improvement that can be made to it.

Abstract thinking is the process of analyzing these thoughts with more depth, arriving at solutions to the various dilemma of the mind.

Comparison Table Between Concrete Thinking and Abstract Thinking

Parameters of ComparisonConcrete ThinkingAbstract Thinking
DefinitionConcrete thinking refers to the process of thinking about physical things from the surface levelAbstract thinking is the process of thinking deeply about abstract ideas
Ideas involvedIdeas relating to the survival instinct are involvedAbstract ideas such as emotions like love, anger, hatred are involved in abstract thinking
Level of thinkingThinking involves only the surface levelA deep level of thinking is involved
ScenariosThis type of thinking occurs during the assessment of the surroundingsThis type of thinking occurs during important decision making
Pace of thinkingQuick thinking is performedThis is a time-consuming process

What is Concrete Thinking

Concrete thinking is the exact opposite of Abstract thinking. It is the process of thinking about physical things, such as job, money, house, from the surface level.

Every animal has to constantly think and plan about things related to its survival. This includes the source of food, shelter, ways of escaping a dangerous situation, etc.

Rather they would try to understand the important details of the situation as fast as possible so that they can use the facts to their advantage.

What is Abstract Thinking?

Abstract thinking refers to the process of thinking deeply about abstract ideas.

Thus the thinking is long and leads to the generation f different perspectives, and views about the idea.

Abstract thinking is the starting point of ideas of freedom and liberation. Many freedom fighters and philosophers were abstract thinkers.

Main Differences Between Concrete Thinking and Abstract Thinking

  1. Concrete thinking is done to quickly assess the situations and consider the important details of the facts. Abstract thinking is done while making important decisions related to the abstract ideas.
  2.  Concrete thinking is quick. Abstract thinking is time consuming.
Difference Between Concrete and Abstract Thinking

Conclusion

Such thoughts are related to Abstract Thinking, where abstract ideas are involved. Concrete thinking is the process of thinking about the concrete or physical things in our lives.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022103106001910
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929314000516
  3. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037/0022-3514.87.2.177
  4. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797611398494
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